Up and Down

So last time we thought that the hills are all behind us. We were wrong, so very wrong…

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North Yorkshire is very beautiful part of England. Passing through the hills and valleys, around the farms on a small (but still busy) roads, with only cows, sheep and horses as companions, was very enjoyable. We had another sunny and rather hot day and so it was obvious that even after leaving so late from Barnard Castle we can still make it far enough to get as close to Leeds as possible, hoping we might even make it to Markéta if there won’t be any more climbing.

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We were advised to visit Eggleston Abbey that was abandoned after king Henry VIII. converted to protestant church and Premonstratesians and other catholic orders were forced out of the country. We did stop there and had a lunch on the grounds were kitchen stood some 500 years ago.

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And so we were back on track and that is when we discovered that North Yorkshire is not the flattest part of England. Pedalling our way steeply up and immediately down again every few hundred meters, it has pushed us to our limits once again. After we cycled through picturesque Richmond we started looking for some place to pitch our tent as the terrain proved very challenging, but passing through huge military establishment in Scotton did not ease our senses at all. With my paranoia of upsetting some farmer and/or their stock present in almost every field this was much more complicated than the nights before. With every other climb we approached Adam said that this is the last one. When the dark came, and that means it was almost 11pm, we camped on a side of public footpath just off the road. Not really the best place to camp but at least it made us to get up very early next morning.

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In the morning, when we were almost packed a farmer with his two dogs appeared from behind the corner and we were both expecting the worse. However, he was really nice guy apparently intrigued by the fact that we cycled from Scotland. He told us that we are just by Harrogate and that it is about 16 miles to Leeds. We set of wondering if we by any chance misunderstood his sixteen for sixty (which won’t be the first time) and whether the countryside would finally be less hilly. However after morning coffee all went well until after fierce descent came one very sharp turn followed by climb, at least as steep as the descend, we heard a horrible crunch noise from the rear wheel. After looking at the cassette Adam has discovered that one of the sprockets has broke in two. Adam has tried to fix, well, rather bend it so that at least the gear before the broken one would be useful but it proved to be too much for a simple pliers. The rest of the gears are still usable so for now we were stuck with just six (instead of nine). We decided to get to Leeds and research what to do next.

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After this incident nothing as bad has happened. On the contrary – we finally got to Markéta’s and enjoyed delicious meals, showers and ice cream, played with Phoebe the most sociable dog we have ever met and had a nice time with all of them. Thank you again for having us at your place for two nights – we really needed such a break.

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